Google’s core apps are virtually designed to be taken as a right by house owners of Android smartphones – Gmail, Maps and Photos are at all times there, delivering a few of the core features we use our handsets for. 

But dig deeper into what these apps can do, slightly than simply utilizing them on autopilot, and you will uncover a bunch of helpful options you might by no means have identified existed. 

So let’s check out a few of the Google app options you might not have used earlier than – we’re assured that a number of of those will make it into your every day routine. 

The options under are designed for Android telephones, however most of them are equally relevant to iPhone customers – we’ll spotlight the place which may not be the case.

Google Maps

How to cache map areas in Maps

Google Maps permits you to save big chunks of map information, and this may be very helpful. A telephone doesn’t want cell information to trace your location, as it could actually use satellite-based GPS – however with out downloaded or ‘streamed’ maps, it’ll seem like your location is being tracked on a clean web page. 

If you’ve the storage capability in your telephone you’ll be able to obtain a rectangle a whole lot of miles extensive, and much more within the north-south axis. However, simply saving a number of sq. miles that you simply navigate round often ought to make Google Maps really feel seamless. 

To choose an space to obtain, faucet Offline Maps within the Google Maps menu, then Select Your Own Map. You’ll see a map that you would be able to pinch and drag to suit the cached space window, together with how a lot space for storing it will take up.

How to make use of Street View in your telephone

You can do loads in Google Maps, however components that Google doesn’t suppose you’ll wish to use every single day aren’t at all times the best to search out. Street View is an efficient instance. 

The app does not allow you to zoom into Street View if you’re in Satellite view, as you’ll be able to in a browser, however in any of the view modes you’ll be able to faucet and maintain on a degree on the map to deliver up a pink map marker, and you will then see a thumbnail picture on the bottom-left of the display screen – faucet on this and Street View will launch from that time on the map. 

Log the place you park your automotive

There are complete apps devoted to letting you log the place you have parked your automotive, however Google Maps can do it for you too. 

Just faucet on the blue dot that identifies your location and menu will pop up that allows you to discover close by spots and share your location – and likewise save that spot as your automotive’s parking location. 

This logs it as a saved level on the map, making it very easy to search out – you will wish to keep in mind this tip subsequent time you are visiting an out-of-town shopping center or parking at an airport.


Creating a signature

Many of us use signatures for our work electronic mail, however few of us achieve this for our personal accounts. 

You can add you personal with only a few faucets, and this can solely apply to emails despatched out of your telephone. In Gmail, faucet the three-line icon to open the menu, scroll right down to Settings after which choose the account you wish to add a signature to. 

Scroll down the Settings display screen and also you’ll see the Mobile Signature choice. This permits you to sort in a message that’ll seem on the backside of your mails – it may be the proper place to apologize upfront for any egregious autocorrect errors you your telephone makes. 


If you wish to change how Gmail feels to make use of, you’ll be able to customise its gestures. As normal, if you flick left or proper on an electronic mail it will get archived. However, you’ll be able to change this, and make left and proper swipes do various things – your choices are delete, mark as learn, transfer to a folder, snooze or no motion in any respect. 

This is likely one of the clearest methods to make the Gmail interface work smarter for you – though if this all looks like overkill then it in all probability means you’re a ‘no motion’ form of gesture consumer. 

You’ll discover these controls within the General Settings sub-menu in Settings, underneath Swipe Actions, though this tip does not work with the iOS model of the app.

Shortcut search instructions

Ready to get nerdy? Gmail provides a search characteristic that, we’d guess, 99% of individuals do not learn about. But in case you have an inbox filled with 10-plus years of emails and you want to discover one, otherwise you wish to have a clear-out, Gmail’s ‘search operators’ are invaluable. 

These are codes that you simply sort into the search bar, and listed here are some examples:

Size:0000000 Change these zeroes to a quantity and Gmail appears to be like for emails which can be bigger than that quantity, in bytes. So 1000000 will search for emails which can be roughly bigger than a megabyte. 

Older_than:1y – No surprises right here: this command brings up all emails obtained greater than a yr in the past. 

Has:attachment – This filters emails that embody an attachment

Has:YouTube – Handy if you wish to see emails that embody a YouTube video 

If these don’t sound particularly helpful in your wants you’ll be able to try the total listing of instructions on the Google website.

Make your emails look extra attention-grabbing

Start including colour and formatting to your emails and also you rapidly danger getting into Comic Sans territory when it comes to style; nonetheless, in the event you’re emailing your pals, slightly than your boss, possibly it doesn’t matter. 

You gained’t see formatting choices as normal when composing an electronic mail in your telephone. To deliver them up, long-press some textual content to pick out it after which choose Format from the pop-up menu to deliver up a bar of choices. 

Among different issues you need to use italics, underline phrases, change font colours and add highlighting to textual content.

If you are utilizing an iPhone, you are restricted to solely italics, daring and underlining – maybe Google thinks iOS customers haven’t got time for such frippery (or it was simply too exhausting to implement).

Google Photos

How to unlock area in your telephone

If you have had your telephone for any size of time, no finish of storage shall be taken up with photographs of your youngsters, your lunch, and the occasional unintended snap of the within of your pocket. 

Google Photos provides one of the simplest ways to rapidly unlock lots of space for storing, wanting deleting these 4GB video games you solely performed as soon as. 

In the Settings menu there’s an choice referred to as Free Up Space. This removes out of your telephone pictures which have already been uploaded to Google servers, assuming that you’ve got turned on photograph backups. 

The one factor to notice is that in the event you use Google’s free ‘limitless’ on-line storage you’ll then completely lose the photographs at their unique high quality. To get round this you will wish to again up your favourite pictures to your laptop computer or desktop laptop, in the event you nonetheless have one. 

On a Windows laptop, plug the telephone right into a USB port and allow USB file transfers within the telephone’s drop-down menu – you’ll be able to then drag and drop photographs in Explorer as in case your telephone was a USB stick. The course of is analogous on a Mac, however you want to obtain the Android File Transfer app, obtainable direct from Google. 

Using search

Search is maybe essentially the most sneakily highly effective a part of Photos, making full use of the intelligent software program Google at all times has working behind the scenes. 

You can in all probability guess a few of the sorts of searches you can also make – sort in a spot title, for instance, and Google Photos makes use of the geocaching tag on the picture discover appropriate matches. Search for a specific month and, positive sufficient, photographs from that month will present up.

However, you can even seek for all types of objects, as a result of Google mechanically AI-scans your photographs as a part of the method. Want pics of puppies, cheese, pizza, castles, rocks or faces? Just sort in that time period and Google Photos works its magic to search out what you’re after. 

Settings photographs as your wallpaper

Google Photos permits you to set your telephone wallpaper proper from the app (in the event you’re not on an iPhone, that’s), and plenty of of you might have executed so already; nonetheless, the entire level of this text is that we’re not assuming everybody’s an Google whiz child.

To set one among your photographs as your wallpaper, discover the picture within the Photos app itself. Now faucet the three-pip Settings menu button within the top-right of the display screen and choose Use As. 

This will deliver up a sub-menu of choices, comparable to setting it as a WhatsApp profile image (in case you have that app put in), in addition to making it your Android wallpaper. 

Making your photographs extra social-friendly

Google Photos Assistant provides some ways to tweak your photographs earlier than sharing them on-line – and the much less succesful your telephone’s digital camera, the extra vital modifying turns into. 

There are two components of this to discover. First, simply open up an image and choose the button that appears like a column of sliders. This opens up the modifying menu. Photos retains this half easier than most image-editing apps, with a only a row of presets and Light, Color and Pop sliders. 

For a pure look simply apply the Auto preset, which provides somewhat extra oomph to your pictures with out altering their character an excessive amount of. 

All executed? The subsequent high choose is Collage, discovered within the Assistant tab. This suits a number of pictures right into a single picture, for a fetching ‘life-style’ look. 

Brought to you in affiliation with Nokia and Android One, serving to you make extra of your smartphone. You can be taught extra in regards to the new Nokia 7.1 here, and you will find extra nice recommendation on getting essentially the most out of your telephone here.

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